Governor Walker’s Presidential Candidacy Announcement

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After months of speculation, Governor Scott Walker is set to announce his 2016 presidential bid in Waukesha. We provide live coverage of the event with a number of political reporters and analysts.

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  • Analysts Evaluate Walker's Chances Amid Republican Field

    With Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement that he will vie for the Republican nomination for president, political analysts are continuing to weigh the advantages and disadvantages that he faces amid a crowded GOP field.

    Walker is the 15th Republican to announce his bid, but his path to the nomination doesn’t look to be a straight line.

    Paul Singer, USA Today’s Washington correspondent, said that the governor has several advantages as he dives into the campaign.

    “He’s in the top 10, which is all that really matters at the moment,” Singer said.

    He said that Walker’s initiatives in Wisconsin are key to his appeal.

    “Scott Walker has as his advantage, he can say I’ve implemented this stuff and won,” Singer said. “He can say I’ve fought the conservative fight on the ground and that gives me some credibility.”

    Singer said Walker’s humble origins and his experience as being an executive branch of government should also play well.

    “Governors have this inherent advantage of being able to say ‘I’ve actually exerted this executive authority,’” Singer said.

    However, Walker has several potential drawbacks to his candidacy. Singer said his record on key issues has raised concerns in some corners.

    “He’s been a little inconsistent on exactly where he is on immigration,” Singer said. “He’s been a little inconsistent on gay marriage.”

    Singer said that the state budget’s troubled birth this session might also affect Walker’s chances.

    “He also has, at the moment, a bit of difficulty with his budget in his own state with both parties,” Walker said.

    After Walker’s announcement speech on Monday afternoon, observers said they thought the governor played to his strengths during his remarks.

    Lilly Goren, professor of Political Science at Carroll University, said that she thought Walker’s statement that he is “going to fight and win for you” fits with the image that he has already cultivated.

    “Walker has always sort of presented himself in public life … as a kind of happy warrior,” she said. “He sort of wove that fighter theme throughout the speech.”

    She said that she thought Walker seemed eager to move on many of his positions.

    “He’s showing you that there’s a number of things that he’s anxious and ready to do. He’s sort of chomping at the bit to get America going again,” she said.

    Singer said he thought Walker didn’t address immigration in the ways that he anticipated during the speech.

    “I expected Walker to offer a more nuanced policy statement of some sort and I’m surprised he didn’t,” he said.

    Singer also noted how frequently Walker recalled the presidency of Ronald Reagan in his remarks.

    “There’s an awful lot of Ronald Reagan here,” he said. “It’s getting back to trickle-down economics … strong America and a strong family.”

    Singer said he felt Walker stuck to “very traditional Republican themes.” He added that, “Not a lot of this is who Scott Walker is.”

    Singer said that Walker made several efforts to highlight how his background perhaps contrasts from his Republican rivals for the party’s nomination. At one point during his speech, Walker said that he didn’t inherit fame or fortune from family — a statement that many might think was a dig at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another presidential contender.

    “It’s a dig a Bush, but it’s a dig of a lot of them,” he said. “Scott Walker does not have a college degree, he didn’t go to Yale, he didn’t go to Harvard. That paints across the spectrum of Republican candidates.”

    He said he thought Walker was trying to tell potential voters, “I’m the guy who is a real working man’s candidate.”

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Paul Singer Guest
  • Lilly Goren Guest